It wasn’t to be a case of lightning striking twice as Bristol City were unable to repeat our heroics of a week earlier at Manchester United and succumbed to a 6-1 defeat at Kingsmeadow against Chelsea on Sunday.
It was a match that was Emma Hayes 200th in charge of the West Londoners. Despite on-fire forward Ebony Salmon giving us a surprise lead, we were unable to hold on and were beaten heavily by a top class Chelsea side.
A few of us made the trip to Kingsmeadow to support the girls and our injury-ravaged young team far from disgraced themselves against a team full of household names which included an impressive second half cameo by new signing Sam Kerr. We did very well to prevent her from scoring. Our supporters club’s ‘Vixen of the match’ this week went to club legend defender Jas Mathews largely on the strength of how she dealt with Kerr with some goal-saving blocks.
It was also nice to meet up with ex-Bristol Academy and current Chelsea player Sophie Ingle for a photograph. We were made to feel welcome in the bar before and after the game and enjoyed having a chat with some of the Chelsea fans who wished us well for the rest of the season.
In other club news, we said goodbye to popular young player Ellie Strippell who has joined Yeovil Town. Everyone at the supporters club would like to wish her the very best of luck for the future. To mark club captain Loren Dykes’ 100th FA Women’s Super League appearance and our thrilling win at Manchester United, we gave away a programme from the game signed by Loren herself and member Luke Neale was the lucky winner.
This Sunday, we will welcome Liverpool to the Stoke Gifford Stadium in a mouthwatering fixture that can only be described as a vital relegation six-pointer with both teams at the wrong end of the FA Women’s Super League table. It really is a must win for us if that thrilling victory at Manchester United isn’t to be wasted. In 22 matches against Liverpool in the top division of women’s football, we have the edge with 10 victories, nine defeats and three draws. In games at the Stoke Gifford Stadium in the FA Women’s Super League era, Bristol have won three, lost three and there have been two draws.
The most recent meeting between the two teams occurred in the corresponding game last October when Mel Lawley’s late penalty cancelled out a superb Salmon goal to share the points on Merseyside. The last game in Bristol saw the home team win a thrilling contest 2-1 with Lucy Graham and Ella Rutherford getting two quick goals for the hosts before Courtney Sweetman-Kirk replied for Liverpool to set up a grandstand finish. The most famous game was when Mark Sampson took his Bristol Academy team to Widnes on the final day of the season in 2013, knowing that a win would be enough to secure the title but we agonisingly lost 2-0 to hand top spot to Liverpool.
Other memorable games include a 6-0 home win at Almondsbury Town FC by Bristol in the National League Premier Division in 2008 which included Stefanie Curtis scoring four goals, the only time I believe a Vixen has achieved that feat in the top division. Bristol Academy’s final game in 2015 before we became known as Bristol City was a thrilling 4-2 home win against Liverpool.
We are all looking forward to returning to home comforts at the Stoke Gifford Stadium after the Christmas break and a couple of away trips. There will also be one of our famous pre-game meet ups in our local pub which we all enjoy. If you wish to join our group you can find us on Facebook ‘Bristol City Women Supporters Club’ or on Twitter [@BCWFC-SC] or simply catch us at the games.
Enjoy the weekend’s action and see you next week.
Rich Paish [founder of BCWFC-SC]